Starting Stacks for Week 5

Scott Bischoff takes a look at the stacks that could pay dividends in Week 5 in GPP play on FanDuel and DraftKings.

Each week I take a look at every NFL game in an attempt to identify players that can be stacked together to maximize value in GPP play at FanDuel and DraftKings. I examine the spreads and totals for each game as well as the implied totals for each team and blend that with the likeliest script that these games will follow. In doing so, I attempt to find players that can pay dividends for your lineup. In some cases, I will also provide a pivot within the stack to another player and give reasons as to why a pivot might make sense. You can use this information as a guide, and you will have multiple options to help you to sort through the noise while you put lineups together that can offer a degree of security.

RISK-AVERSE STACKS

Ben Roethlisberger+ JuJu Smith-Schuster

FanDuel: Roethlisberger ($8,400) + Smith-Schuster ($8,000) = $16,400

DraftKings: Roethlisberger ($6,900) + Smith-Schuster ($7,500) = $14,400

Facing the No. 27 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 25 ranked pass defense allowing 284 yards per game

Game Total - 57.5

Implied Totals - Steelers at 30 points and Falcons at 27.5 points

Game Line - Pittsburgh Steelers -3

The Pittsburgh Steelers bring the Atlanta Falcons to Heinz Field on Sunday for a likely shootout in Week 5. This game has the highest total of the week at 57.5 points, and with both defenses struggling to stop the opposition, it is easy to see many points going on the scoreboard in Week 5.

The Steelers have the second-highest implied total of the week (30), and they are off to a strong start to the 2018 season, averaging 25.5 points per game which is No. 11 in the NFL. The Steelers defense is performing poorly, and they are forcing Roethlisberger to throw the ball (186 attempts which is third-most in the NFL) to keep his team in games.

The Falcons pass defense has done a solid job of keeping the big play in check and are allowing a 7.1-yard average, and only seven teams in the league are better in this area. However, they are allowing a lot of underneath type throws to get completed and that lines up perfectly for Smith-Schuster.

Teams have hit the Falcons for a completion percentage of 70.6 percent, and only four teams have allowed a higher percentage in 2018. Also, the Falcons have surrendered nine passing scores in 2018 which is seventh most in the NFL.

Smith-Schuster has been heavily involved in the Steelers aerial attack having been targeted 49 times through four games. He has converted 31 of those targets into catches for 416 yards and a score, and he should be very active in this contest.

The Falcons are going to score points, and that means the Steelers offense will be forced to throw the ball on Sunday, and there is a very good chance that Smith-Schuster is one of the main beneficiaries of the game script. Smith-Schuster is an excellent GPP play in Week 5.

Pivot: Receiver Antonio Brown ($9,000 at FanDuel and $9,100 at DraftKings) and tight end Vance McDonald ($4,600 at FanDuel and $3,700 at DraftKings) are both intriguing options for GPP play in Week 5. The addition of Brown or McDonald to your roster allows you to get a piece of a very high scoring game and there is potential for a big day from either player.

Philip Rivers + Keenan Allen

FanDuel: Rivers ($8,200) + Allen ($8,100) = $16,300

DraftKings: Rivers ($6,700) + Allen ($7,800) = $14,500

Facing the No. 24 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 17 ranked pass defense allowing 263.2 yards per game

Game Total - 53.5

Implied Totals - Chargers at 29.5 points and Raiders at 24 points

Game Line - Los Angeles Chargers -5.5

The San Diego Chargers are at home versus the Oakland Raiders in Week 5, and this game is expected to be a high scoring affair with the second highest total of the week (53.5. The implied number has the Chargers scoring four-plus times, and Rivers should be able to stay hot as he played very well coming into this game.

Rivers has thrown for 11 scores and two interceptions to go along with 1156 yards in his first four games in 2018. The Chargers offense is potent, and Rivers continues to play some of the best football of his career.

Opposing quarterbacks have hit the Raiders for an 8-2-yard average which is fifth-worst in the NFL. The Raiders have allowed eight passing scores and only eight teams in the NFL have given up more scores through the air. Also, the Raiders have given up 19 passing plays of 20+ yards which is fourth-most in the NFL. The Raiders have given up four passing plays of 40+ yards which is third-most in the NFL.

Consider that only eight teams have defended fewer passes than the Raiders (133) and the numbers above make the Chargers passing attack very intriguing on Sunday. Also, the Raiders have generated five sacks total through four games and that ranks last in the NFL. Rivers is going to have time to pick apart the Raiders this week, and that makes Allen a very intriguing option.

Allen is an elite route runner and is capable of winning anywhere in the route. He draws Raiders cornerback Leon Hall this week, and he has a sizeable advantage over him. Allen can exploit Hall early in his route, and with extra time because of a lack of pressure, he can hit the Raiders for big plays down the field too.

Pivot: Wide receiver Mike Williams ($6,300 at FanDuel and $4,200 at DraftKings) is a very interesting option in Week 5 facing Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley. Williams is capable of winning down the field and could be a beneficiary of the extra time Rivers will have in the pocket. He also represents excellent salary savings and is an intriguing option in Week 5.

Matt Ryan + Julio Jones

FanDuel: Ryan ($8,300) + Jones ($8,800) = $17,100

DraftKings: Ryan ($6,600) + Jones ($8,500) = $15,100

Facing the No. 19 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 29 ranked pass defense allowing 304.8 yards per game

Game Total - 57.5

Implied Totals - Falcons at 27.5 points and Steelers at 30 points

Game Line - Atlanta Falcons +3

The Atlanta Falcons travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday for a Week 5 matchup of high scoring teams. Both teams are expected to light up the scoreboard via their implied numbers and the game total. Each team is expected to four touchdowns, and each team’s passing attack will lead the way.

The Falcons have the eighth-highest implied number in Week 5 as they are forecast to score just under four touchdowns. With the Atlanta defense struggling, it is easy to see Ryan forced to throw to keep the Falcons in the game.

Ryan comes into this game on a three-game tear, throwing for 10 touchdowns and 1065 yards over that span. Note that the Falcons have played in very high scoring games over those three games and this week looks like more of the same.

The Steelers pass defense is reeling having surrendered an 8.1-yard average. Only five teams across the league have yielded more through four weeks. They have given up 18 passing plays of 20+ yards and only five teams in the NFL have allowed more. Also, the Steelers have given up 12 scores through the air, and only the Chiefs have given up more passing scores in 2018.

Jones has become a bit of an enigma as he has yet to get into the end zone this season, but he still sees plenty of volume. He has been targeted 46 times in four games, catching 29 passes for 502 yards and it is clear that he is still the first option in the Falcons passing game.

Jones has a very favorable matchup as he gets Steelers cornerback Artie Burns in Week 5, and he should be able to exploit him in a very big way. Jones should get into the end zone this week, and he will continue to see heavy volume in this matchup and is a very worthy option for GPP play in Week 5.

Pivot: Wide receiver Calvin Ridley ($6,800 at FanDuel and $5,800 at DraftKings) and tight end Austin Hooper ($5,000 at FanDuel and $3,000 at DraftKings) are both very interesting options in this game. Attaching yourself to either gets you a piece of a very high scoring game at a deeply discounted price.

HIGHER RISK STACKS

Derek Carr + Jordy Nelson

FanDuel: Carr ($7,000) + Nelson ($5,600) = $12,600

DraftKings: Carr ($5,200) + Nelson ($4,500) = $9,700

Facing the No. 18 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 21 ranked pass defense allowing 275.8 yards per game

Game Total - 53.5

Implied Totals - Raiders at 24 points and Chargers at 29.5 points

Game Line - Oakland Raiders +5.5

The Oakland Raiders are on the road as they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers in a Week 5 matchup. This game has a very high total, and there is sneaky potential for this game to go over the 53.5-point number because of how each defense is performing combined with the potency of each team’s offense. These teams have given up a combined 18 passing scores through four weeks of play.

The Chargers have yielded an 8.7-yard average which is fourth-worst in the NFL. They have given up 20 passing plays of 20+ yards which is the most in the NFL through four games. They have also given up four passing plays of 40+ yards, and only two teams in the NFL have surrendered more. Lastly, the Chargers have given up 10 scores through the air, and only five teams across the NFL have given up more in 2018.

The game script calls for the Raiders to be throwing the ball plenty in this game, especially on the road and down in the second half. The Chargers secondary is very vulnerable as evidenced above and Carr should be able to rack up excellent numbers in this game.

Nelson has seen an uptick of volume in the Raiders passing attack over the past two weeks, scoring in both games. He has been targeted eight times in each of the past two games, catching 11 passes for 221 yards over that span. Nelson has a chance to be a great value with an expected increase in volume in this game.

There is risk because of the low implied number for the Raiders (24), but if you are stacking this game, you are expecting the Raiders to be pushed to score more than the expected total. The Chargers have been torched by big plays through four games in 2018 by the passing game, and Nelson could pay off in a very big way should that continue in Week 5.

Pivot: Receiver Amari Cooper ($6,500 at FanDuel and $5,500 at DraftKings) is also a worthy option in this high scoring matchup. The Chargers are not defending the pass well, and the game script calls for heavy volume for the Raiders receiving weapons.

Blake Bortles + Dede Westbrook

FanDuel: Bortles ($7,000) + Westbrook ($5,900) = $12,900

DraftKings: Bortles ($5,500) + Westbrook ($4,700) = $10,200

Facing the No. 30 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 31 ranked pass defense allowing 328.5 yards per game

Game Total - 49

Implied Totals - Jaguars at 23 points and Chiefs at 26 points

Game Line - Jacksonville Jaguars +3

The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in a critical AFC matchup in Week 5. This game has a modest total (for this week), but the risk in this stack lies within the potential for the Jaguars defense to limit the potent Chiefs offense. Can the Chiefs push the Jaguars offense to keep pace by forcing them to throw the football?

The Chiefs are allowing a 7.9-yard average and only eight teams in the NFL allow a higher average. The Chiefs have given up eight passing scores, and only eight teams in the NFL have allowed more. Also, the Chiefs have allowed 20 passing plays of 20+ yards, most in the NFL.

While there is no clear-cut first option in the Jaguars passing attack, he is receiving a reasonable amount of volume on a weekly basis. Westbrook saw 13 targets last week versus the Jets, and he has a chance to shine against Chiefs slot cornerback Kendall Fuller.

Westbrook stands to benefit from the enhanced volume in this matchup if the Jaguars are forced to open up the passing game and keep it open. He has earned Bortles’ trust as he is the most consistent target in the Jaguars passing attack, and at his cost, it will not take much to get to GPP value.

This stack is a very contrarian play in a week full of chalk-type plays elsewhere, and the risk is detailed above. However, the savings that this stack provides allows you to load your roster with some of the chalkier plays at other positions.

RB/DST Stacks

Melvin Gordon III III + Chargers Defense

FanDuel: Gordon ($8,700) Jaguars ($4,400) = $13,100

DraftKings: Gordon ($8,600) Jaguars ($3,100) = $11,700

Facing the No. 28 ranked DVOA rush defense and the No. 30 ranked run defense allowing 139.2 yards per game

Game Total - 53.5

Implied Totals - Chargers at 29.5 points and Raiders at 24 points

Game Line - Los Angeles Chargers -5.5

The Los Angeles Chargers are at home versus the Oakland Raiders on Sunday for a Week 5 matchup. The Chargers are a 5.5-point home favorite, and they should have little trouble putting points on the board in this game.

The Chargers can harass Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, and the Raiders will be without starting right tackle Donald Penn. Rookie Brandon Parker gets thrown to the wolves here, and the Chargers should be able to take advantage of the Raiders offensive line. A touch of pressure can lead to sacks and turnovers, and there is potential for a big play or two in this game.

Gordon is an elite running back and he should be able to amass yards on the porous Raiders No. 30 ranked run defense. They allow 5.6 yards per carry, and there is only one team in the NFL that allows a higher average. The Raiders have surrendered five rushing scores, and there are only two teams in the NFL that have allowed more.

Gordon boosts his value by catching passes and is a very productive weapon in the Chargers passing game. He has caught 24 passes for 199 yards, and he has scored three touchdowns via the passing game through four games.

The game script looks outstanding for Gordon and the Chargers defense and both sides of this stack have a chance to be extremely productive, and it is an excellent option in Week 5.